The final minutes you spend traveling to the exam and standing or waiting outside the examination hall are probably the worst moments for some candidates.
After all, there is nothing you can do now except wait. Here are some tips to help you through those final minutes.
Make sure you leave early enough for the exams centre so as to get you to the exam with plenty of time before the exam takes place. There’s nothing worse than getting into a panic before the exam has even started by worrying if you will get there on time or not. And although it may sound stupid, make sure you know where the examination is being held.
It would be silly to miss the first 20 minutes simply because you went to the wrong building. If you are taking a large number of exams it is very easy to get confused as to the times and places of the various exams.
Believe me – I’ve seen it happen! Don’t get too wound up with the importance of the exam. Although people will continually tell you how important it is that you do well they usually fail to point out that if you don’t do as well as you need to then you can always re-sit, and re-sit, and re-sit the exams until you get the grade you require. OK it would be nice to pass first time but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. Some people get so concerned that they might fail that the worrying itself makes them so nervous that they do fail.
If you have a laid-back couldn’t care less approach then you will feel much better about the exams and will do much better as a consequence. It will also have the effect of annoying your colleagues. “How come you’re so calm,” they will ask and this will make you feel even better! Remember it doesn’t matter how you really feel inside just so long as you come across as calm and collected. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel just from putting on a confident act when the exam is at hand.
Stay well away from the crowds of people waiting to go into the exam, even your friends. This is a very dangerous time when people love to get together and discuss what they do and don’t know and try and get help on their last-minute problems. The last thing you need now is to be a part of this. All you need to hear is a chance remark about a particular topic to set you thinking “Oh no! I forgot to revise that” or “I don’t know that as well as I should”.
Similarly, a discussion about a particular topic with different people giving different opinions will only confuse you ahead of the exams. This is not to say group discussions are not good but the timing is critical.
The best thing is to stay away from everyone and then you won’t get involved with last minute discussions. This way you will avoid being made confused or more nervous.
Don’t do any last-minute learning or revision while you wait to go in. At this late stage you are more likely to put yourself into a panic than do anything useful. If you feel that you must do something then just glance over your revision notes and get your mind thinking over the subject.
Try and stay as calm as possible while you wait for the exams each day. Take your mind elsewhere by thinking of things nicer than exams. For example think about the holiday you’ll be going on in a few weeks time when all this is over. Breathe deeply to relax yourself. The calmer you are when you go in the better you will deal with the exam.
Don’t let other peoples confidence about passing the exams or a given subject put you off. Usually it’s just a front since very few people have no fear of exams. Everybody is nervous before they go in and some people cope with their nerves by putting up a confident front even though deep down they are not in the least bit confident. Whilst this might worry you and make you feel worse it makes them feel better. So why not follow their example and make yourself appear confident. You’ll find you actually feel much better for it! Good luck at the exam.
Get to the exam hall in plenty of time
The exam isn’t that important – you can always re-sit
Stay away from discussions
Avoid last minute revision
Breathe deeply an stay calm
Don’t be put off by other people’s confidence
Source: Not known… to be updated
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